Feb. 16, 2012

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Stony Brook nips Maine in America East poll


Stony Brook eked past Maine for the top spot in the America East Preseason Poll, in voting by the league’s head coaches and released by the conference office.


The Seawolves secured four first-place votes and 24 points to take first. The Black Bears received the remaining two first-place votes and talked 22 points. Albany was third, followed by Binghamton, Hartford and UMBC.


Stony Brook returns 20 letterwinners from last year’s regular-season champions, a squad that set a program record with 42 victories. Among the returnees are Player of the Year Willie Carmona (pictured above) (.357, 80 H, 27 2B, 4 SV, 1.76 ERA) and Rookie of the Year Brandon McNitt (7-3, 2.03 ERA, 3 SV, 2 CG).


A season ago, Maine won its first America East tourney title since 2006. The Black Bears return four all-conference infielders, including senior first baseman Justin Leisenheimer (.327, 8 HR).


The season begins on Friday, Feb. 17, with conference play starting the second weekend in April. The top four teams will advance to the 2012 America East Tournament, to be held May 23-26 at the home field of the highest seed.


2012 America East Preseason Coaches Poll


Team, Points (First Place) (2011 America East, Overall Records)

1. Stony Brook, 24 (4) (22-2, 42-12)

2. Maine, 22 (2) (18-6, 33-24)

3. Albany, 15 (11-11, 21-31)
4. Binghamton, 14 (13-10, 21-28)
5. Hartford, 10 (3-20, 6-43-1)
6. UMBC, 5 (2-20, 10-37)


(photo courtesy of Stony Brook Media Relations Office)